Features December 11, 2019

A Shared Approach: Silver & Gold Collaborate with Brix Brewery, support Boys & Girls Club

by Cole Peterson

A shared approach to creation is the driving force behind an upcoming collaboration between rock band Silver & Gold and Greeley’s Brix Brewery and Taphouse.

On December 19, a collaborative beer release and concert benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Weld County will take place in Downtown Greeley’s Moxi Theater. Goldie Rocks, an easy sipping Hefeweizen (or German Wheat) will showcase the spirit of collaboration, the ‘back and forth’ between reason and whimsy, and the good that can arise from tension. 

While sitting in the brewery on brew day, a lengthy conversation between Silver & Gold members Devon Hildebrant, Brandon Vela, and Brix Head Brewer R.W. Collett took place. They discussed their creative and measured approach to their respective crafts, finding commonality where neither thought it should exist.

Brix Head Brewer R.W. Collett with Silver & Gold members Brandon Vela and Devon Hildebrandt. Photos by Cole Peterson

The concept is rarely considered, but similarities can be drawn between the process of crafting  beer and crafting music. While forming a beer recipe, Collett states: “If we are going for a specific style, like a Hefeweizen – tons of reading and research go into what the style entails.” He adds, “I look at and sample different examples, and then try to put my own spin on what that beer means to me, because that’s what a craft beer is.”

While sitting across from his artistic and bearded counterpart, Hildebrandt, Silver & Gold’s lead singer, agrees. “There will be times I listen to a song and think that I love the way [the artist] did that, and try to take that approach,” he says. “It’s essentially trying to find ways to input your own influence into that idea.”

Hildebrandt assisting in the mashing process at Brix Taphouse in Greeley leading up to the collaborative release of their beer Goldie Rocks on December 19. Photo by Cole Peterson

In theory, a brewer has little at their artistic disposal: hops, barley, yeast, and water. In theoretic comparison, a musician has a similarly limited palette: vocals, percussion, strings, or wind. But any musician will tell you that’s reductive nonsense — music is infinitely complex and the same is true for beer.

Consider the variables present in water sources, barley production, hop production and living yeast strains; add in fruits and anything else you’ve ever seen in a beer and the possibilities are unfathomable. The brewer, like the musician, has an endless path in pursuit of perfection. 

As a musician and songwriter, Hildebrandt draws this conclusion: “We write music we would enjoy, and if you were to spend your entire time writing a song to match a certain group of people, in many ways you are selling yourself short, and immediately putting a limiter on your creativity.”

Bassist Vela examining Goldie Rocks mid-way through the brewing process. Photo by Cole Peterson

For Hildebrandt, constantly exploring and expanding upon his repertoire is the name of the game, even if it means facing tense moments with bandmates. Vela, the band’s bassist acknowledges, “When you end up debating each other’s creative freedoms, you really have to trust each other.” 

While considering that concept, Collett and Brix owner Tommy Dyer shared in a laugh knowing they often experience that same tension while building a beer. Dyer admittedly pushes his brewer beyond his comfort zone, which tends to lead to tense moments, yet amazing brews are made as a result.

Brix owner Tommy Dyer. Photo by Cole Peterson

Regarding Goldie Rocks, Collett admits he is less experienced with the hefeweizen style, but is confident in his science-based background to pull this beer off. Collett is an RN by day, and thinks this base of knowledge allows him to be more creative, stating: “Feeling confident in the science (of beer) helps promote creativity.”  

Master Brewer R.W. Collett and Hildebrandt in the brewing room. Photo by Cole Peterson

Collett and Dyer were extremely excited to be a part of this collaborative effort for the local Boys and Girls Club too. Collett mentions, “I have two kids, Tommy has a kid … anything that helps promote growth for the little ones is a huge deal for us.”

Both Hildebrandt and Vela were employed with the Boys and Girls Club of Weld County for many years during their come-up as a local Greeley band. Silver & Gold now hail from Denver in an effort to get closer to an overall larger music scene, but the benefit show scheduled for December 19th at the Moxi Theater is a sign that their hearts are home in Greeley. 

The brewers and musicians finding common ground in collaboration and the creative process. Photo by Cole Peterson

Through this collaboration, both band and brewer exhibit that stretching yourself and expanding your reach leads to exciting, creative growth, but that something good always happens when you come back to home base: rediscovering the strength of your foundation.

A special fruited version of Brix + Silver & Gold’s beer collaboration Goldie Rocks will be available only on Thursday, December 19 at The Moxi Theater in Greeley. Silver & Gold will perform that night, as well as The Beeves and Overslept. A generous portion of beer sales that evening will directly support the local Boys and Girls Club.